Report advocates community ownership as ‘routine option’ for Scottish communities
Prepared for ministers by the Scottish Land Commission, the report follows a review of existing community right to buy mechanisms and community ownership in Scotland.
The report makes a number of recommendations to Scottish Ministers for the future of community right to buy; in particular, that community ownership should become a routine option for communities, so it is planned and proactive rather than reactive.
It recommends that there needs to be a:
Informed by research by a team led by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), the report considered the experience of community ownership in Scotland over the last 25 years since the first buy out in Assynt.
The Commission will now work with Scottish Government to bring interested stakeholders together to shape the policy tools and specific interventions needed to deliver the recommendations in the report that include:
Speaking about the report, Scottish Land Commissioner Lorne Macleod commented that community ownership and right to buy has developed significantly over the last 20 years.
Ms Macleod said: “Community ownership is now seen as integral to regeneration and sustainable development in both rural and urban contexts in Scotland.
“It should be seen as normal and routine, as it is internationally, for a community to acquire and own land that could provide local housing, business development, community facilities, recreation facilities, greenspace, as a fundamental way to create more vibrant communities and regional economies.”
Land reform secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “Community ownership, when done properly, has been shown time and again to deliver real benefits to communities, providing a long term sustainable future for the land and assets acquired.
“It has been great to see such an increase in community ownership in recent years, thanks to the success of some amazing local groups working with the Scottish Government. This is unlocking potential in our urban, rural and island communities and giving local people a say in their future, and I hope to see many more communities getting involved in the years ahead.”
The Scottish Land Commission is now undertaking work looking at international experience of community land ownership to inform the long-term vision and delivery.